Free Press (Government Advertisements).

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 12th February 1941.

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Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

asked the Minister of Information whether he is aware that the free Press in some towns are debarred from having Government advertisements; and what are the reasons for this discrimination?

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

No section of the Press is debarred from having Government advertisements. The second part of the Question, therefore, does not arise.

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

Does my right hon. Friend ask me to believe that the free Press, circulated in certain towns, is able to receive advertisements? Is he not aware that a considerable correspondence has taken place on this matter between his and other Departments?

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

I am not quite sure what the hon. Member means by a "free" Press. Does he mean a Press which is circulated free?

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

Certainly they are entitled to receive advertisements, but advertisements are placed in papers where they are likely to command the widest publicity.

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

Does the Minister appreciate that in some towns the free Press is widely supplied to every householder within the borough, and that it is the one medium which appears to be what most advertisers want? If Government advertisements had been put in the free Press, it is possible that there would not have been so much delay on the part of certain householders in submitting ration cards.

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

I am quite prepared to look into this question and place advertisements where they are likely to do the most good.